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Decay chain

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In nuclear science, the decay chain refers to a series of radioactive decays of different radioactive decay products as a sequential series of transformations. [1]

83 relations: Actinium, Alpha decay, Alpha particle, Americium, Americium-241, Astatine, Atomic mass, Auger effect, B2FH paper, Beta decay, Big Bang, Bismuth, Bismuth-209, Cosmic ray, Decay product, Electron, Electron capture, Exponential decay, Formation and evolution of the Solar System, Francium, Gamma ray, Half-life, Helium-4, Inverse beta decay, Isotope, Isotopes of actinium, Isotopes of americium, Isotopes of astatine, Isotopes of bismuth, Isotopes of californium, Isotopes of chlorine, Isotopes of curium, Isotopes of francium, Isotopes of lead, Isotopes of magnesium, Isotopes of neptunium, Isotopes of plutonium, Isotopes of polonium, Isotopes of protactinium, Isotopes of radium, Isotopes of radon, Isotopes of thallium, Isotopes of thorium, Isotopes of uranium, John Wiley & Sons, Lead, Modular arithmetic, Natural nuclear fission reactor, Neptunium, Neutrino, ..., Nuclear fission product, Nuclear isomer, Nuclear physics, Plutonium-239, Plutonium-240, Plutonium-241, Plutonium-244, Polonium, Positron, Positron emission, Primordial nuclide, Protactinium, R-process, Radioactive decay, Radiometric dating, Radionuclide, Radium, Radium-223, Radon, S-process, Smoke detector, Thallium, Thorium, Unified atomic mass unit, Uraninite, Uranium, Uranium-233, Uranium-235, Uranium-236, Uranium-238, Uranium–lead dating, Valley of stability, X-ray. Expand index (33 more) »


Actinium is a chemical element with symbol Ac and atomic number 89.

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Alpha decay

Alpha decay or α-decay is a type of radioactive decay in which an atomic nucleus emits an alpha particle (helium nucleus) and thereby transforms or 'decays' into an atom with a mass number that is reduced by four and an atomic number that is reduced by two.

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Alpha particle

Alpha particles consist of two protons and two neutrons bound together into a particle identical to a helium-4 nucleus.

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Americium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Am and atomic number 95.

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Americium-241 (241Am) is an isotope of americium.

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Astatine is a radioactive chemical element with symbol At and atomic number 85.

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Atomic mass

The atomic mass (ma) is the mass of an atom.

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Auger effect

The Auger effect is a physical phenomenon in which the filling of an inner-shell vacancy of an atom is accompanied by the emission of an electron from the same atom.

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B2FH paper

The B2FH paper, named after the initials of the authors of the paper, Margaret Burbidge, Geoffrey Burbidge, William A. Fowler, and Fred Hoyle, is a landmark paper on the origin of the chemical elements published in Reviews of Modern Physics in 1957.

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Beta decay

In nuclear physics, beta decay (β-decay) is a type of radioactive decay in which a beta ray (fast energetic electron or positron) and a neutrino are emitted from an atomic nucleus.

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Big Bang

The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the universe from the earliest known periods through its subsequent large-scale evolution.

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Bismuth is a chemical element with symbol Bi and atomic number 83.

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Bismuth-209 is the "quasi-stable" isotope of bismuth with the longest known half-life of any radioisotope that undergoes α-decay (alpha decay).

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Cosmic ray

Cosmic rays are high-energy radiation, mainly originating outside the Solar System and even from distant galaxies.

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Decay product

In nuclear physics, a decay product (also known as a daughter product, daughter isotope, radio-daughter, or daughter nuclide) is the remaining nuclide left over from radioactive decay.

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The electron is a subatomic particle, symbol or, whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge.

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Electron capture

Electron capture (K-electron capture, also K-capture, or L-electron capture, L-capture) is a process in which the proton-rich nucleus of an electrically neutral atom absorbs an inner atomic electron, usually from the K or L electron shell.

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Exponential decay

A quantity is subject to exponential decay if it decreases at a rate proportional to its current value.

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Formation and evolution of the Solar System

The formation and evolution of the Solar System began 4.6 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant molecular cloud.

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Francium is a chemical element with symbol Fr and atomic number 87.

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Gamma ray

A gamma ray or gamma radiation (symbol γ or \gamma), is penetrating electromagnetic radiation arising from the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei.

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Half-life (symbol t1⁄2) is the time required for a quantity to reduce to half its initial value.

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Helium-4 is a non-radioactive isotope of the element helium.

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Inverse beta decay

Inverse beta decay, commonly abbreviated to IBD, is a nuclear reaction involving electron antineutrino scattering off a proton, creating a positron and a neutron.

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Isotopes are variants of a particular chemical element which differ in neutron number.

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Isotopes of actinium

Actinium (89Ac) has no stable isotopes and no characteristic terrestrial isotopic composition, thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given.

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Isotopes of americium

Americium (95Am) is an artificial element, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given.

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Isotopes of astatine

Astatine (85At) has 37 known isotopes, all of which are radioactive; the range of their mass numbers is from 191 to 229.

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Isotopes of bismuth

Bismuth (83Bi) has no stable isotopes, but does have one very long-lived isotope; thus, the standard atomic weight can be given as.

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Isotopes of californium

Californium (98Cf) is an artificial element, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given.

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Isotopes of chlorine

Chlorine (17Cl) has 24 isotopes with mass numbers ranging from 28Cl to 51Cl and 2 isomers (34mCl and 38mCl).

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Isotopes of curium

Curium (96Cm) is an artificial element with an atomic number of 96.

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Isotopes of francium

Francium (87Fr) has no stable isotopes.

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Isotopes of lead

Lead (82Pb) has four stable isotopes: 204Pb, 206Pb, 207Pb, 208Pb.

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Isotopes of magnesium

Magnesium (12Mg) naturally occurs in three stable isotopes, 24Mg, 25Mg, and 26Mg.

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Isotopes of neptunium

Neptunium (93Np) is usually considered an artificial element, although trace quantities are found in nature, so thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given.

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Isotopes of plutonium

Plutonium (94Pu) is an artificial element, except for trace quantities resulting from neutron capture by uranium, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given.

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Isotopes of polonium

Polonium (84Po) has 33 isotopes, all of which are radioactive, with between 186 and 227 nucleons.

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Isotopes of protactinium

Protactinium (91Pa) has no stable isotopes.

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Isotopes of radium

Radium (88Ra) has no stable or nearly stable isotopes, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given.

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Isotopes of radon

There are 35 known isotopes of radon (86Rn) from 195Rn to 229Rn; all are radioactive.

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Isotopes of thallium

Thallium (81Tl) has 37 isotopes with atomic masses that range from 176 to 212.

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Isotopes of thorium

Although thorium (90Th) has 6 naturally occurring isotopes, none of these isotopes are stable; however, one isotope, 232Th, is relatively stable, with a half-life of 1.405×1010 years, considerably longer than the age of the Earth, and even slightly longer than the generally accepted age of the universe.

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Isotopes of uranium

Uranium (92U) is a naturally occurring radioactive element that has no stable isotopes but two primordial isotopes (uranium-238 and uranium-235) that have long half-life and are found in appreciable quantity in the Earth's crust, along with the decay product uranium-234.

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John Wiley & Sons

John Wiley & Sons, Inc., also referred to as Wiley, is a global publishing company that specializes in academic publishing.

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Lead is a chemical element with symbol Pb (from the Latin plumbum) and atomic number 82.

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Modular arithmetic

In mathematics, modular arithmetic is a system of arithmetic for integers, where numbers "wrap around" upon reaching a certain value—the modulus (plural moduli).

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Natural nuclear fission reactor

A natural nuclear fission reactor is a uranium deposit where self-sustaining nuclear chain reactions have occurred.

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Neptunium is a chemical element with symbol Np and atomic number 93.

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A neutrino (denoted by the Greek letter ν) is a fermion (an elementary particle with half-integer spin) that interacts only via the weak subatomic force and gravity.

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Nuclear fission product

Nuclear fission products are the atomic fragments left after a large atomic nucleus undergoes nuclear fission.

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Nuclear isomer

A nuclear isomer is a metastable state of an atomic nucleus caused by the excitation of one or more of its nucleons (protons or neutrons).

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Nuclear physics

Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies atomic nuclei and their constituents and interactions.

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Plutonium-239 is an isotope of plutonium.

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Plutonium-240 (/Pu-240) is an isotope of the actinide metal plutonium formed when plutonium-239 captures a neutron.

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Plutonium-241 (Pu-241) is an isotope of plutonium formed when plutonium-240 captures a neutron.

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Plutonium-244 (244Pu) is an isotope of plutonium that has a half-life of 80 million years.

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Polonium is a chemical element with symbol Po and atomic number 84.

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The positron or antielectron is the antiparticle or the antimatter counterpart of the electron.

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Positron emission

Positron emission or beta plus decay (β+ decay) is a subtype of radioactive decay called beta decay, in which a proton inside a radionuclide nucleus is converted into a neutron while releasing a positron and an electron neutrino (νe).

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Primordial nuclide

In geochemistry, geophysics and geonuclear physics, primordial nuclides, also known as primordial isotopes, are nuclides found on Earth that have existed in their current form since before Earth was formed.

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Protactinium (formerly protoactinium) is a chemical element with symbol Pa and atomic number 91.

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The rapid neutron-capture process, or so-called r-process, is a set of nuclear reactions that in nuclear astrophysics is responsible for the creation (nucleosynthesis) of approximately half the abundances of the atomic nuclei heavier than iron, usually synthesizing the entire abundance of the two most neutron-rich stable isotopes of each heavy element.

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Radioactive decay

Radioactive decay (also known as nuclear decay or radioactivity) is the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy (in terms of mass in its rest frame) by emitting radiation, such as an alpha particle, beta particle with neutrino or only a neutrino in the case of electron capture, gamma ray, or electron in the case of internal conversion.

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Radiometric dating

Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed.

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A radionuclide (radioactive nuclide, radioisotope or radioactive isotope) is an atom that has excess nuclear energy, making it unstable.

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Radium is a chemical element with symbol Ra and atomic number 88.

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Radium-223 (Ra-223, 223Ra) is an isotope of radium with an 11.4-day half-life, in contrast to the more common isotope radium-226, discovered by the Curies, which has a 1601-year half-life.

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Radon is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86.

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The slow neutron-capture process or s-process is a series of reactions in nuclear astrophysics that occur in stars, particularly AGB stars.

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Smoke detector

A smoke detector is a device that senses smoke, typically as an indicator of fire.

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Thallium is a chemical element with symbol Tl and atomic number 81.

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Thorium is a weakly radioactive metallic chemical element with symbol Th and atomic number 90.

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Unified atomic mass unit

The unified atomic mass unit or dalton (symbol: u, or Da) is a standard unit of mass that quantifies mass on an atomic or molecular scale (atomic mass).

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Uraninite, formerly pitchblende, is a radioactive, uranium-rich mineral and ore with a chemical composition that is largely UO2, but due to oxidation the mineral typically contains variable proportions of U3O8.

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Uranium is a chemical element with symbol U and atomic number 92.

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Uranium-233 is a fissile isotope of uranium that is bred from thorium-232 as part of the thorium fuel cycle.

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Uranium-235 (235U) is an isotope of uranium making up about 0.72% of natural uranium.

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Uranium-236 is an isotope of uranium that is neither fissile with thermal neutrons, nor very good fertile material, but is generally considered a nuisance and long-lived radioactive waste.

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Uranium-238 (238U or U-238) is the most common isotope of uranium found in nature, with a relative abundance of 99%.

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Uranium–lead dating

Uranium–lead dating, abbreviated U–Pb dating, is one of the oldestBoltwood, B.B., 1907, On the ultimate disintegration products of the radio-active elements.

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Valley of stability

In nuclear physics, the valley of stability (also called the nuclear valley, energy valley, or beta stability valley) is a characterization of the stability of nuclides to radioactivity based on their binding energy.

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X-rays make up X-radiation, a form of electromagnetic radiation.

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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decay_chain

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